There are many things to see and do in “The Eternal City” of Rome, but if the city becomes overwhelming or if you’re in need of further exploration – day trips are a great way to experience some of Italy’s best places. The great part is, they are all within a couple of hours away by train and can be done in a day.
While many tourists are flocking to Assisi, you should get off the beaten path and visit Orvieto – another cute hilltop town in the Umbria region. Depending on which train you take, it is a 1 hour to 1 ½ hour ride each way. The town of Orvieto sits 1000 meters high on a tufa cliff. Once you’ve arrived, get on the funicular which connects the lower town to the upper town and visit its historic city center. We highly recommend the Orvieto Underground tour and a visit to Orvieto’s duomo. Also, take some time to enjoy a leisurely lunch after strolling Orvieto’s medieval streets.
Just a half hour away by metro from the center of Rome, venture off to its coast and visit Ostia Antica. It’s an archaeological site that was once a port city in ancient Rome. It was bustling with people, trade, entertainment, homes and even a naval base.
Ok, some may disagree and say that Florence should not be done in one day but if you only have one day to spend then I say, go for it! Take the direct, fast train to Florence early in the morning from Rome. It is only about 1 ½ hours away and it really does go by fast! If we return to Florence, it will be for more than one day, however if you’re there for a full day then we suggest visiting these sites: Florence Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery and Galleria dell’Accademia to see the famous Michelangelo’s “David” (purchase tickets in advance to avoid waiting in long lines!), San Miniato al Monte and The San Lorenzo Market. You should have enough time to enjoy a nice lunch and if you can, take a really late train back to Rome so you can stay in Florence for dinner.
Tivoli is famous for its gardens at Villa d’Este and another tourist site, Hadrian’s Villa. It’s just a half hour away from Rome and is easily a great choice for a day trip. Situated on a hilltop, Tivoli is also popular with those looking to retreat from Rome in the summer.
If you want a nice sample of the Italian coast (figuratively and literally speaking) and you’re staying in Rome, then Sorrento is just the right place! Take an early train from Rome to Naples (about 1 to 1 1/2 hours by train) since there is no direct fast train to Sorrento. After you get to the Naples train station, hop on the railway operator Circumvesuviana which goes from Naples to Pompeii and ends in Sorrento before returning to Naples. The journey takes about 45 minutes to get to Sorrento. Sorrento has delicious seafood and you can’t visit the Italian coast without sampling its famous limoncello.
Do you enjoy day trips when visiting a big city? What activities do you like to do on a day trip? Comment below!
Tivoli & Ostia Antica photos sourced from Pixababy.com